The body of Joe Griffin, 49, a former Newton County sheriff's deputy who was killed in Afghanistan, arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Monday.
Several members of the Patriot Guard Riders and officers from around the metro area were at Atlanta's airport when Griffin's family arrived to receive his body.
"We're here to honor him, to honor his service and show his family they are not alone in their grief. We are here to support them," said Patriot Guard Rider David Shreckengost.
Griffin was working as a contractor in Afghanistan. Officials said an Afghan policewoman shot and killed him Christmas Eve. He was there training and mentoring the Afghanistan Ministry of Interior and Afghan National Police.
"Very good guy, dedicated to the job, dedicated to the citizens of Newton County. He just loved his job, loved training new officers, mentoring just all around good person," said Newton County Sheriff's Lt. Tyrone Oliver.
Oliver worked with Griffin.
"When I joined the police force, the sheriff's department, in 1999 I worked as a jailer. Joe was a patrol deputy and I had a chance to supervise Joe when I made sergeant in 2007," said Oliver.
Although Griffin no longer worked for the sheriff's department, fellow officers from around the metro area joined the Patriot Guard Riders to greet Griffin's family and escort his body from the airport to Covington.
"It's really hard to put it into words until you have been on the other side of it and you've lost somebody and people that you don't know, that you've never seen before come out and show their support for you. It's hard to put into words," said Shreckengost.
Funeral Services will be held at Wheeler's Funeral Home on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013 at 3 p.m.
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